With the Pro Bowl this weekend and the Super Bowl coming up on February 5th, I remembered that I wrote this post last year for the Rock Your Marriage blog. It’s a good reminder for all of us about the different seasons in marriage and how we can help our spouse:
Before we started our family, we had a few sets of friends start to have children. We watched with excitement and anticipation as they brought their babies home and began to settle in to family life.
One thing we observed that having a baby brought out in our friends was comparison and competition in their marriages: each spouse thought that the other person had it easier. The wife who stayed home thought her husband had it easier because he got to leave the house, go to work and interact with adults. The husband thought his wife had it easier because she just got to hang out with the baby all day.
We saw it happen in our own marriage too when our kids came around. We began to struggle with balancing much-needed time away to refresh. I got annoyed when my husband would golf and be gone half the day. I’d ask when I could get my turn and I’d try to be gone an equivalent amount of hours to make things even.
But as the years have gone on, I’ve come to realize that in marriage, things aren’t always 100% even. I like to equate it to a football tactic: blocking. (Unlike many women, I love football. When fall rolls around, I’m ready to enjoy lazy Sundays on the couch with my man, cheering on our teams.)
When a player has the football, his teammates block for him. They block or push the opposing team’s players out of the way so that their teammate can move the ball down the field. They often get tackled, bumped and bruised in the process. They put themselves on the line in the best interest of their team.
In marriage, we need to block for each other. We need to stop competing about who has it easier. Being married and raising kids is hard, no matter which way you slice it!
As spouses, we need to do whatever we can to ensure that our spouse is the best version of themselves. It means we need to block so that he/she can get time away to come back refreshed. Or sometimes there are seasons that are more demanding on one partner at work or at home and the other spouse must block for a while.
Marriage isn’t always even, but putting ourselves on the line to block for our spouse will help to make our marriage a success. Communicating about each other’s needs in different seasons will help you protect and serve one another well.
I love these verses, they can encourage us to remain united with our spouse and to continue blocking for each other, even when it’s tough:
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
– Philippians 2:1-4 NIV